IBM Shows Broad Mobile Portfolio at Largest Lab

IBM employs 45,000 software engineers worldwide, and like all large firms, has been greatly expanding its overseas contingent, leading some in the US to complain that not enough is being done “back home.” In mid-June, IBM provided an answer with the opening of a new lab facility in the Boston suburb of Littleton, Massachusetts, one of 70 IBM Software Labs around the globe, and its largest in North America.  It has “more square footage than Boston’s Fenway Park or the TD Garden,” IBM noted, and employs fully 10% of the firm’s software engineers. Since 2003, IBM said, it has acquired 14 Massachusetts-based companies, partnered with more than 100 VC-backed small firms, and has more than 1,600 business partners in New England. This investment was not lost on the Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts, who joined IBM SVP and Group Executive Steve Mills for the lab opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony. In a bid to demonstrate the breadth of his portfolio, Mills assembled the heads of several of his software brands to discuss mobility, a primary focus of the Littleton lab. Read more of this post

IBM Impact Event – Process is King

IT vendors perpetually balance between “business” and “product” messages. And it’s a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” kind of problem. Take a mixed load of analysts and half will always think one of the dimensions got short shrift – and the other half will say exactly the opposite. So take my first impression of IBM’s Impact event, the WebSphere gathering, with a grain or twelve of salt: “IBM didn’t say nearly enough about product at Impact this year.” And there was much to say, so for me, it felt like a missed opportunity.

Analysts are spoiled creatures; I was annoyed that there was no analyst workroom, no power at our “special seating” (as if the good seats weren’t enough), bad connectivity on Day Two….as I said, spoiled. I try not to behave like a diva. Mostly I succeed. I did manage to remain focused enough to see clearly that business process has become the focus for the WebSphere gang – they’ve moved beyond an obsession with technology to focus on what we do with it. That’s a very positive step up. Read more of this post